From Baroque to Braille (1600-1825) Culture, Fashion, and Architecture

Fashion from 1600-1825

Wow. Honestly, I thought that this would be an easy subject because it’s just fashion right? Looks like I scrolled through 100 different sources before finally starting. *Cries*

Baroque Fashion

France became the center of fashion during this period as long dresses, skirts, corsets, coats and wigs emerged into Europe. Basically this time can be known as extreme body adornments as both women and men dressed and decorated themselves to their most. Women’s dresses had deep necklines trimmed with lace and without any petticoats; therefore, the skirts would flow freely without any rigidness. Clothing was sewn from foreign fabrics, so buying the fabric itself was really expensive. Not only were these women after the warm and flirtatious look, but they were also trying to retain looking young as much as possible. What I found interesting was that men’s fashion on the other hand, were so elaborately embroidered and ornate that they often seemed more feminine than women’s clothing. Men’s clothes consisted of long robes, fur-lined coats, and ankle-length dresses with long sleeves.

Another element that was very commonly seen during this time were elaborately curled wigs, and they were important because they showed wealth and social status. Wigs were powdered and decorated with lace, feathers, jewels, ribbons, and different stones. They eventually grew higher to show an individual’s wealth and often reached as much as 20 cm in height, in which special racks were then used to hold up the wig in place.

Rococo Fashion

Many of the fabrics used at this time in both men’s and women’s fashion were usually in pastel colored satin, brocade, and lace. Women’s dresses had tight fitted corsets, with narrow sleeves and lots of lace and ribbons. This was also a time when the cone-shaped metal skirt called a crinoline was introduced, where women had tight fitted corsets in order to keep contrast with the large skirt formed by the crinoline. Men’s clothing had a lot of lace and was once again richly decorated, but instead men now wore vests as well as simple sleeves. Tights were also worn with knee high trousers on top. Men’s fashion started to change later on in this period, where clothing was not as elaborate anymore with lace and flounces.

Wigs during this time became extremely huge to the point where they would weigh several pounds. Hair color ranged from white, blue, and pink; this effect was achieved by a powder made from wheat starch. Hairstyles that were small in size, had unusually big hats that were extremely decorated. In other terms, each wig was its own piece of art, which really surprised me because I didn’t think that so much time and effort would be put into making each one.

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